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 Post subject: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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A wedding in Gauteng, was a good excuse to take some timeshare and time out in KNP. :lol:

Thanks to all the good reports on the forums re Crocodile Bridge, SO and I decided to give it a try. We had never slept over at CB before. Internet booking as per normal was a dream ( :clap: welldone SANParks :clap: ) with plenty of accommodation for 23, 24 & 25 January and Burchells from 26 to 30th.

Finally, we were in KNP at Malelane Gate. Windows open, cameras on laps, binocs at the ready.....time to slow down. The feeling of anticipation etc is I guess what brings us All back. :D

Took s25 to CB. Everything was green, every river, stream, mud pool had water in it.

And what was the first animal we were going to see?

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a narrow snouted giraffe. And then...

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Plenty of impala along the route
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:dance: We were in the Park :dance:

And so our 'tail' begins
Richard and Rusty

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:52 pm 
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Thanks Johan. we'll get there :whistle:

Plenty of birds around

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Hamerkop

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Help needed for id

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Our first Ellies, in Crocodile river with lots of vultures catching thermals

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First Buffalo, lazing in Bume river
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And so we booked into CB. Nice quiet camp, chalet with view over river full of water roaring away.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Evening drive.

SO could not resist.

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Stopped for a pic of Burchell's Coucal
and then we saw our first rhino

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Just before the camp, our last sighting for the evening trip, 4 rhino grazing.

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Evening braai, visited by a hyaena sniffing around outside the fence.
Reasonable start. Early to bed.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:46 pm 
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Nice start Richard ,

Your "unknown" greenish black bird is a Black stork , i think .


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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:51 am 
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Great another report :D Interesting heading, cant wait to read it all :D

Im still very new to birding, but would say your bird is definately a Black Stork - Red bill, red legs, , have not see one myself, but hoping to soon :D

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Location: South Africa
Hey Richard great TR. :clap:
Beautiful sightings. Can't wait for more. :whistle: :whistle:

p.s also think your unknown bird is a black stork. :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Thanks All. Get :popcorn: ready.

Saturday morning a little while after 04h30 we set off northwards.

Just past the s25 turnoff we were a bit late , but saw two male lions walking away into the bush.

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A little further on the road to the look out over the river were two young rhino bulls. We think we saw them a couple more times in the area in the next couple of days.

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And then onto s28 and came across pigeons that were green.
First time that I can recall seeing Green Pigeons.

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Then three juvenile? BBJ romping around in the round and having 'dung baths'

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My SO's favourite bird

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One horned buck -unihorned- duiker?

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On the s107 to Nhlanganzwani dam every second tree had a 'big bird' in it.

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and the odd kudu cow

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This a week before the birding weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:57 pm 
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I guess the eagles were Brown Snake Eagles.
Why were there so many in one area? We saw something similar in Tuli Block.

There were also hundreds of Marabou Storks catching a thermal.

We turned off towards Duke's dam, and then back towards s28 and came across a buffalo herd crossing. A couple of hundred, on the move all well muddied up. A couple of minutes previously there was nothing. Just shows you how animals move around and great sightings can be seconds before or after you.

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My favourite bird. Our only sighting.

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Not sure?

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And so the day ended.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:08 am 
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Location: The planning is on again.....
RichardJ - Thanks so much for posting so soon another 2 installments :dance: :dance: :dance:

For me it is always a privilege to see black-backed jackals in KNP as they always seems to hide when we are looking out for them so your sighting of them was a brilliant one. Also great sightings of the green pigeons

Your one horned buck is a common duiker and the "not sure" bird is a juvenile bateleur :thumbs_up:

Awaiting a new installment :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Thanks for the id Pumbaa.

Sunday morning, headed up north to LS.

On the bridge. Lesser Striped Swallows

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:redface: My SO corrected me saying her favourite birds are swallows! Sorry Rusty :roll:

On the s70, we managed a quick shot, I stopped in the middle of the bridge, two vehicles appeared on the other side, and I politely reversed. They got their photos off, thanked me and the stork flew off! :evil: :evil:

and SO.........not very charmed at missing a lucrative shot :twisted:

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The rocky outcrop before Nkumbe lookout always produces the pair of klipspringers. We have seen them on every visit. I wonder how many generations we have seen?

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Tea at Tshokwane on to Orpen dam, Hippos gave a great show leaving the water and grazing.
Route via s35 came across a pride of 6 lions, doing what they do best. :D

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Temperature was touching 40.
A vehicle with 4 youngsters arrived. They had camped at Balule. Were looking for leopard and cheetah. On telling them that there were 6 lions here, they replied......ok so that 34 lions for the morning :clap: :wall: :clap:

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Each one slowly got up and moved off into deeper shade. This one had a drink first.

Our new hobby trying to get BIF pics. Normally because when we get close enough they fly off :redface: Id?

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Wound our way back down H4-2 and as time was not yet critical turned off onto s130 :whistle: :whistle: :lol: :lol:

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Last edited by RichardJ on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:57 am 
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Thanks Yorkie

Just onto s130 coming around a corner we saw a couple of vehicles parked off. Had a quick look around and only saw a lone buffalo in a 'pond'. I was about to move on when I spotted a yellow bag wrapped around a mirror. recognised it as a yellow 'ribbon' and drove closer, introduced myself and heard the reply ....i'm Vlakvarksegat.... we had a good laugh.... "there's a pride of lions across my bow' he said "they have been eye-balling each other for a while".

We pulled in to get the best view we could.

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The next thing we saw was a rhino come trudging through the bush, and walked around the bush that the lion were lying behind. The lion did not budge.

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A JJ pulled up, very pleasant young man with only one couple as guets. On hearing that there were youngsters in the pride he suggested that the lions would probably not attack the buf. He was also sorry that he had not brought his camera with him that day :wall:

The buf left the pond and walked closer to the lions.

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Lions changed posture.

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The buf stood challenging for a minute or so.

Then charged at the male, who scampered into and around the bush. The others all moved back a bit. The buf spun around and continued to chase the male.

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As you can see the buf coming back out of the bush and the youngsters interested spectators. :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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Buf came back and chased the females, until they were all cleared off, out of sight.

:dance: :big_eyes: :dance: :big_eyes: :dance:

JJ left and another vehicle pulled into his spot. We briefly explained what had just gone down, I was busy pulling out when my SO said the lady to our right had called me. She asked whether we had seen the cheetahs and briefly told me where they were, on the s28.

About to rush off and SO says new car called me. It was Maddie2312 and Mark. Had a quick chat, they did not have time to put on their ribbon, but were about to.

Well there we were, three 'forumites' in a row. I rushed off to see the cheetah.

Maddie pm'd me that there was further 'action' after we left. Maddie that's your story to tell us. :popcorn:



video of buffalo vs lion

We rushed off to look for the cheetah.

Past Duke's dam an 'oom' stopped us ..english or afrikaans he asked...english but afrikaans is fine...theres cheetah,at T junction turn left, 100 meters turn right..

Thanks 'oom' perfect directions...

There were quite a few vehicles there.

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5 cheetah. :dance: :dance: We once saw 2 cheetah way up a road, otherwise only singles.

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A very noisy diesel vehicle pulled up and caught their attention.

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They then saw a troop of baboons approaching and decided that they were out of there.

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Timing was good, we did not have to leave a sighting, it left us, time was tight to get back to CB camp before the gates closed.

A 'nice' sight on way back.

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video of cheetah

:clap: What a half an hour. What a day. :dance:
We have only had 'normal' sightings and now our last two trips have produced something rather unusual. KTP lion vs leopard and now buffalo vs lion!

We slept well....and looked forward to the rest of our trip.
:lol: :lol:

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Last edited by RichardJ on Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:55 pm 
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Thanks p@m.

Well after all the excitement, Monday morning time to pack up and move on.

Our first sighting of the day were lying in view from the chalet, in the Croc river.

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Set off north towards LS.

Vultures sunning themselves. White Backed Vulture??

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the ever elegant Fish Eagle.

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A young gnu

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My favourite buck are the little ones, such as this steenbok.

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We were watching a breeding herd of elephants when we witnessed a 'nasty' incident. A delivery truck pulled up next to the herd. The driver then revved the engine pumping a plume of black diesel smoke into the herd which then sent them charging off. The driver thought this a big joke and pulled off. We were stunned.... unfortunately I did not get the registration number. :evil: :sniper: :evil:

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Little Banded Goshawk??
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On the s76 we saw a couple of lions lying in the bush line. Quite a few JJ around with very excited youngsters thoroughly chuffed with their sighting. :popcorn:

Not much more excitement, booked into Burchell's lodge. while braaing saw the biggest ghecko I have ever seen. Also had bush babies passing through the trees right next to the chalet.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:08 pm 
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On Tuesday we went sight seeing, spent the morning 'shopping' in the Hazeyview mall :wall: :wall:, and then took a drive to Sabie and visited the Bridal Veil falls which had a good flow of water.

Wednesday morning, re-entered at Paul Kruger gate, rounded the circle and saw a bus stopped. I had intended to turn right onto the s3, but went up to investigate. And there was a young male lion. Soon had lots of company.

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He got up and walked towards the gate, the circle can be seen at the bottom of the road. We wondered if he was alone and/or where the rest of the pride were?

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We had prime spot next to him walking down the road. Ever politely I moved forward to allow the others following to get a 'prime' look. And this is what was following him. (snap shot from video)

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Headed of to the s3, which from an animal point of view was very disappointing, only a brief look at a buck which I did not have time to id, possibly a reed buck. And a very agro Ellie who chased us backwards for about 200 meters. I had stopped well away from him in the first place! Possibly 'intoxicated' from maroelas?

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Visited the Phabeni gate for the first time, then the Albasini ruins (very interesting) and headed off to Pretoriuskop. Did all the loops on the way and did not see a single animal. :evil:

On the way to Afsaal, on the Makhutlwanini koppies, were lots af baboons. The top guard looked like a 'neanderthal man'.

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At Afsaal we were looking forward to a cup of tea. Canteen was closed, asked staff if there was any chance for a cup of tea, and it was organized. Well done and thank you Afsaal staff. :D

Did the H2-2, s114 route back. Came across a rhino which walked away from us into the bush, saw movement going to the left, thought there could be two, moved forward, and there were two and then a third a then fourth.

A double length rhino.

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A bateleur kill! Victim a rabbit.

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Almost back at PK gate found the lion again. Pulled up for another look. Then SO exclaimed "there's the rest of the pride". Sure enough through the gap in the shrub they were all lying around. Quite funnily one had her paws against another trying to keep it from rolling onto her. They each got up, did their 'duties' and came out directly towards us and settled on the road for the night.

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With dusk settling in we had this ghostly sight. :cam:

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Once again while braaing the bush babies moved past us through the trees. This time within a meter of me.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Thursday, had a relaxing morning (last free morning of our short holiday) and then headed back to the irresitable park for an afternoon drive.

a African Hoopoe

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We then learned how to cause a traffic jam in the park. :lol:
A log/branch/rock that looked like something. Stop reverse to check. Vehicle approaches from behind, to the point that it blocks your 'reverse', another vehicle from the front sees two vehicle stopped, must be something 'good' and then a third vehicle from the front, now you have four vehicles all looking at ??......drive away slowly.... wondering what it 'might have been' ..... comforted by the fact that vehicle two was soon on our tail... :lol:

Stopped off at Skukuza for a pic of 'the bats'

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On this visit did not see many water buck

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And then out the bush and onto the road (Sabie River Freeway H4-1)
all to ourselves for 10 minutes. :lol:

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He went along leaving his scent along the way.

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Crossed the bridge on H12 ...
an unusually marked giraffe.

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Then left on H1-2 to head back home.
At the T-junction a road scraper came charging past.
We eventually caught up and decided to get infront of it before every creature got chased away. Another vehicle passed us (speeding).

At the low water bridge (Sand river?) the vehicle had stopped midway and a lioness was trying to cross. She was tiptoeing her way across. We pulled in behind them.

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The road scraper pulled up behind us. The lioness looked like she was going to attempt to pass us. The scraper then sat revving away trying to force us along!!!! :evil: :evil:

Looking back its blades covered the sides of the bridge. There was noways the lioness could pass, so she turned around and walked off the bridge and off the road.

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We crossed, stopped for a final look, hoping she would come out and try again...time getting tight so we moved on.

On a corner just before the next low water bridge.....I thought oh, ok, another lion....but soon my senses focused..... it was a leopard..... :dance: :dance: but as is the normal case with these creatures they are gone before you can click...

can you see it?

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and now?

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On the way the sunset on a 'great' afternoon drive

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 Post subject: Re: Buffalo vs Lion, 5 Cheetah and other 'tails'
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:20 pm 
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Last morning Friday 30 January 2009 set off for Jhb via the park. In at PK gate out at Malelane gate. Early morning rain had stopped. The whole world was green and wet. The plan was to take the tar road to BenD.

Before we even entered there were buffs outside the gate in the shadows of PK himself.

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A wet Lilac-breasted Roller

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Besides the night visitor at CB this was the only Hyaena sighting.

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Our second cheetah sighting of the trip. In a clearing but a bit far. :dance:

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European Roller

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Baby leopard Tortoise

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terrapin

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Another Rhino sighting. These days one can rely on seeing them!

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Then a strange sighting. rhino lying down? sleeping? black?

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Giant snails sliding down the road

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Battle scarred tortoise

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A vehicle stopped us and said theres elephant down the next road. Timfenheni loop. Well, half the parks ellies were down this road. At every turn there seemed to be a different breeding herd. All very relaxed, grazing and ignoring us. (we were surrounded a couple of times).

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circle of life, had to have a pic of butterflies in/on dung.

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At the Matjulu bridge on H3 half the parks giraffe were gathered. A group of them spooked and running around while others just watched them.

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No visit to BenD area is complete without a visit to Matjulu water hole.

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As with the start of the trip a Hammerkop

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And just at the final corner before the gate

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And then sadly the gate. :clap: :clap:

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Thanks and credit to my SO, Rusty, for most of the pics.
She also took 35mm photos with her antique and even older 500mm lens, still to be developed. Will add the good ones (hopefully all, remeber those days when you had to wait to see :cam: )

To ALL the lions, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, servals, AWCs, civets, honey badgers, genets, hyaenas, wild dogs, black rhinos, eland, nyalas, tssessebes, sable and roan that we did not see but which saw us, see you next time. :thumbs_up:

Richard

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